Don’t like dealing with difficult people and their behaviors? Can’t say I blame ya! However, they are unavoidable be they a stranger, friend, coworker, or family member.
Regardless, It is important to recognize a difficult person rather than rationalizing or dismissing their behavior as just “flaws.” If you rationalize, ignore or dismiss their actions, you leave yourself open to the detrimental physical, mental, or emotional effects that come from dealing with difficult people.
Guard your heart and mind. It is not selfish, it is healthy. The consequences of not guarding yourself can result in the following:
1. You feel like the difficult person is draining the life and energy out of you –
It is a scary thought, but dealing with difficult people can take years off your life. This happens when you internalize a confrontation or their bad behavior.
Your body responds with stress hormones that can negatively impact your heart health.
2. You constantly feel stressed in the presence of this person or when thinking about him/her –
As stated in # 1, stress hormones can negatively impact your heart- health. Normally, stress hormones are a short-term defense mechanism to deal with an immediate threat. The key words are “short-term” and “immediate.”
The constant feeling of stress is not good for you. Neither your mind or your body responds well to stress. You may notice difficulty sleeping, concentrating, a change in appetite, increased anxiety, and many more physiological and emotional responses.
3. If you are dealing with a difficult person in the workplace, you may notice that your productivity is suffering –
I experienced this for nearly 8 years. There is a feeling of constantly being attacked. I didn’t tell anyone for the first 3 years because I thought I was imagining it all. The experience was new to me so I thought maybe I was just being paranoid. My work suffered. My work relationships suffered. I felt isolated.
My performance reviews were negative. Add to all this that my stress hormones were, unbeknownst to me, were predisposing me to high blood pressure and insulin resistance.
4. Your self-esteem takes a hit –
Yeah, those 8 years were a blow to my self-confidence. The constant feelings of isolation, I felt hopeless. Looking back, I would have rather felt anger than hopelessness. Although, I did feel anger once I figured out what was going on around me. I was mired in negative self-talk and self-loathing.
5. Your enthusiasm for life decreases –
My outlook on life became negative. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I shut down emotionally. Apathy is a lack of interest. I lost interest in friendships, church, and work. Even to the time of me typing this, I still have not been able to fully recover.
It is a slow process, but I welcome the journey towards wellness and feeling whole again.